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Trade Has No Losers

By Donald Boudreaux | Jul 17 2024
International trade, it is commonly said, has winners and losers. Consumers in the U.S. gain when they buy wine imported from France while winemakers in California lose. C’est la vie, counsel economists. Nothing should be done about this situation. The reason is that it’s also commonly said – at least among those of us in ...

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Tariffs, Deficits, and Debt

By Jon Murphy | Jul 5 2024

Scott Sumner recently had a post discussing a potential relationship between trade deficits and government debt.  To sum up, since debt must come from savings, if domestic savings are too low relative to domestic investment, then foreign savings must come in and make up the difference; the United States imports foreign savings.  When the government .. MORE

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Craig, if there is only one, why isn't he jacking up prices like crazy? More so taking into account that there are no easy substitutes for (good) haircuts (I tried DIY during Covid with awful..

Jose Pablo, July 18

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Cost-benefit Analysis

NOTHING is “Adequately Funded”

By Art Carden | Jul 20, 2024 | 0

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: nothing will ever be “adequately funded.” In pretty much any circumstance, someone somewhere will have at least some idea of what else they could do with an extra dollar or two. The fact that they have to forsake something because they have limited resources means .. MORE

Adam Smith

Progressive Jonathan Lipow Defends Economics

By David Henderson | Jul 19, 2024 | 3

This is the second of my series of posts on Jonathan Lipow’s 2023 book, Pubic Policy for Progressives. In “Economics without Apology,” a subsection of Chapter 1, Jonathan addresses his concern about progressives rejecting economics, writing: Now, lamentably, many progressives regard economics with great suspicion.  Indeed, instinctual hostility towards economics is a textbook example of .. MORE

Macroeconomics

Tom Holden on Monetary Policy

By Scott Sumner | Jul 19, 2024 | 9

In recent years, I’ve become depressed by the state of research in macroeconomics. I find many new research papers to be almost unreadable. Perhaps this reflects the fact that my own work is increasingly outside the mainstream. Thus I was very pleasantly surprised to see a new paper by Tom Holden that embraces many of .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

The Right to Build

By Christopher Freiman | Jul 19, 2024 | 5

In a recent interview with Tyler Cowen, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated his opposition to housing deregulation: One person’s freedom is another person’s unfreedom. That means that what I can do . . . I talk about freedom as what somebody could do, his opportunity set, his choices that he could make. And when one person .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Jonathan Lipow Is a Fair-Minded Progressive

By David Henderson | Jul 18, 2024 | 5

  At its core, the Woke are building a movement that subverts the Left and renders it impotent in the face of its very real theocratic and fascist enemies.  It sets male against female, straight and cis-gendered against queer, Black against white, and the working class against the intelligentsia.  It debases science with various offshoots .. MORE

Political Economy

Contrarian Ideas on the Administrative or Whimsical State

By Pierre Lemieux | Jul 18, 2024 | 9

There are credible theories, bolstered by the public choice analysis of bureaucracy, that the administrative state is economically inefficient and politically dangerous—“politically dangerous” meaning a risk of growing or feeding Leviathan. (For an overview, see Gordon Tullock, Bureaucracy, Liberty Fund, Inc., 2004]; and Dennis C. Mueller, Perspectives on Public Choice [Cambridge University Press, 1997].) At .. MORE

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Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Jonathan Lipow Is a Fair-Minded Progressive 5

  At its core, the Woke are building a movement that subverts the Left and renders it impotent in the face of its very real theocratic and fascist enemies.  It sets male against female, straight and cis-gendered against queer, Black against white, and the working class against the intelligentsia.  It debases science with various offshoots .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

Mythology and the Reality of Democracy: An Illustration 7

The second round of the French election, to be held on July 7, carries some interesting lessons about democracy. In each circumscription where no candidate obtained more than 50% of the votes in the first round, those who got more than 12.5% are allowed to run in the second round. A political party or coalition .. MORE

Information Goods, Intellectual Property

A Contradiction in Hayek’s Famous 1945 Article 17

  In his “Quotation of the Day” yesterday, one of my favorite parts of CafeHayek, Don Boudreaux quotes from one of my favorite articles by Hayek, his “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” published in the American Economic Review in 1945. (Parenthetical note: Wouldn’t it be great if the AER started publishing articles with words .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Universal Economics: Necessary Reading for the Well-Trained Economist

By Alexander William Salter

A Liberty Classics Book Review of Universal Economics, by Armen Alchian and William Allen.1 What do you do when economists stop believing in economics? The “dismal science” never merited its dreary epithet, but trends in economics education at the graduate and undergraduate levels could change that. Ph.D. courses are saturated with hyper-mathematical models that are .. MORE

Constitutional Democracy: Is Democracy Limited by Constitutional Rules?

By Pierre Lemieux

A Liberty Classic Book Review of The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy, by Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan.1 Originally published in 1985, Geoffrey Brennan and James Buchanan’s The Reason of Rules extends Buchanan’s previous work, notably The Limits of Liberty2 and, with Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent.3 “Constitutional political economy,” the subtitle .. MORE

Milton Friedman’s Many Battles

By Arnold Kling

Characteristically, Friedman had a contrarian take on the Washington consensus. Ironically, the turn toward markets gave new life to the classic institutions of the postwar managed economy, namely the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). No longer working to stabilize a gold-backed currency, the two international organizations offered loans to emerging economies—typically conditional .. MORE

Immigration and the Open Society

By Alberto Mingardi

A Book Review of Immigration and Freedom, by Chandran Kukathas.1 Freedom is “in some way a very ordinary thing, consisting in not being hindered or obstructed in the pursuit of our everyday ends, or watched as we go about our business, or prevented from associating with others.” In his book Immigration and Freedom, Chandran Kukathas .. MORE